#EngVocab: Singlish Vocabularies (1)

As promised during our #EngTrivia Singlish session (http://wp.me/p2s6nT-1nP ), I will share more about it…

So today I will be sharing its #EngVocab :)

Anyone up for it?

As a reminder, here’s what Singlish is to a fella:

@laurenhxh: it’s english mix with some chinese and malay words :)) and the grammar doesnt have to be correct”

Believe it or not, my interviewees were struggling on how to actually write these Singlish #EngVocab

Of course, different people might write it differently. So if you happen to know how to write them, share your version :)

So, here they are!

  1. Wah Lau Eh/Weh = Oh my God – expression when you are surprised. In Indonesian it would be like = Ya ampun
  2. Boh Liao = Nothing better to do
  3. Cheem = difficult, complicated, complex – usually used by students when they find their studies hard to understand
  4. Ah or Leh or Meh or Lah = expressive words in Singlish
  5. Relak one corner = go seat on one corner do your own thing, nothing better to do, anti-social. For example, telling someone to just go relax and maybe play guitar on the corner
  1. Wan = referring to an object/person, used at the end of a sentence. For example, “Zhen Min is very smart wan, lah!” (notice: an expressive word from no.4 is used in the end as well)
  1. Makan = eat, same meaning in Indonesian, but in Singapore and Singlish it is used by any race there to say “eat”
  2. Jalan-jalan = walking around, traveling, same meaning in Bahasa Indonesia
  3. Got or Got meh = “Is it true?” or “Is it?” In Indonesian would be “Iya gitu?” or “Ada gitu?”
  4. Auntie or Uncle = In Singapore like in Indonesia we would call someone older by Auntie (Tante) or Uncle (Om). In Singapore and Singlish, Auntie/Uncle usually used to refer to shop owners or food stall owners. Such as, “Auntie, what’s the price for….?” or “Uncle, what do you have in store?” and so on



@jiank38: bo jio = ajak ajak dong” <- is this the same as Boh Liao?

@jiank38: it’s different, boh liao = nothing good to do, boh jio = why you didnt invite me . Cmiiw” Ah, I see


Remember, that these are Singlish (Singapore/Singaporean English) #EngVocab :) don’t mix it up with English #EngVocab hehe


Of course, this session wouldn’t be possible without @della_angelina, Zhen Min and Mithun’s common Singlish vocabs contribution :)

That’s it for today’s Singlish #EngVocab :) More to come this Saturday if you want to know more :D so stay tuned!


“@doel_12: Beauty of language :)”


Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on August 27, 2014



Interview with Della (@della_angelina), Zhen Min and Mithun in London, 14th July 2014


One response to “#EngVocab: Singlish Vocabularies (1)

  1. Pingback: #EngTrivia: Singlish | @EnglishTips4U·

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